Widowed SA pensioner's internet search for a fishing mate hooks the nation

A South Australian widower has been inundated with offers since his online request to reel in a new fishing buddy went viral.

Lewiston pensioner Ray Johnstone posted the ad on Gumtree earlier this month looking for a mate to go fishing with after his friend died.

It has been reported that about 100 anglers have been in touch with him since the 75-year-old cast the net for company.

He said he is amazed by the response and it is something he never expected.

"It gets a bit lonely just sitting around watching the TV a lot of the time," he told 7 News.

Ray Johnstone was looking for a mate to go fishing with. Source: 7 News

"Going fishing by yourself is not much fun."

The grandfather-of-12's honesty was cast wide, with hundreds taking the bait.

There is also a petition online raising money to fly him to go snapper fishing on the east coast.

"My name is Ray Johnstone. Australian. I'm a widowed pensioner who is looking for a fishing mate. My previous mate is now deceased," Ray wrote on the ad.

The response was massive. Source: Gumtree

"What I want is a fishing mate in a similar position to myself who also wants someone to go fishing with," he added.

"I am willing to share all costs e.g. petrol bait and should you happen to own a boat willing to pay all ramp fees but happy if you are also a land based fisherman."

Old mate Ray even listed his condition on Gumtree as "Used".

Some of Ray's choice fishing spots. Source: Gumtree

Since the ad was posted on January 19 it has been viewed more than 88,000 times.

"When I started getting a few phone calls this morning I thought it was just because of my age, but then it kept going, and going and going," Ray said.

With calls coming in from across Australia, thankfully Ray found someone to go fishing with closer to home.

It has been reported he has narrowed the search down to about four possible fishing buddies.

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